Blichar Holds on for Art Wall Senior Win
SCRANTON, Pa. – David Blichar didn’t think his play in Tuesday’s second round of the 15th Art Wall, Jr. Memorial Championship was good enough as he played the last few holes. But on a tough day at the historic Country Club of Scranton, Blichar did just enough, shooting a second round 76 on his way to a two-day total of 151 (+7) to win the Senior portion of the championship, which was presented by LECOM.
“I wasn’t sure I’d be in it coming down the stretch,” said Blichar, a PAGA Individual Member.
The 56-year old Blichar had a birdie on the par-5 fourth hole to move up the Senior leaderboard and held on from there, with steady play throughout the chilly, windy round on Tuesday. Despite making bogeys on No. 6 and No. 7, he made the turn at 1-over par 36. Combined with some front nine struggles from first round Senior leader and defending champion Michael Capotis, that meant that Blichar had pulled into a tie for the lead.
The second nine began for Blichar with a solid stretch of just one over par through the first five holes on a course that was playing fast and firm. Meanwhile, Capotis bogeyed three of those five holes. Blichar was playing in a group ahead of Capotis so he didn’t know where he stood throughout the round.
After back to back bogeys on holes 15 and 16, Blichar moved to 7-over par for the championship and was clinging to a lead over Capotis and four-time Championship division winner Arnie Cutrell. But Blichar was able to do what he needed to do, making par on the final two holes and withstanding Cutrell’s finish (four birdies in the last seven holes) to win the title.
“I really loved the golf course,” said Blichar, who previously played CC of Scranton in the Pennsylvania Amateur in 2003.
Cutrell, trying to add the Senior title in his first year of eligibility, made five birdies on the day but couldn’t overcome his opening round of 79 despite firing the low round for any senior in the competition (73) on Tuesday. He finished in second place with at 8-over par 152, one shot behind Blichar.
Capotis put forth a valiant effort to defend the title he won at Centre Hills Country Club last year, but fell short. He shot rounds of 73-80 to finish in third place at 153 (+9). Tying Capotis in third place was Ed Podufal of The Kahkwa Club.
Rounding out the top five were Bill Rosemeyer of Treesdale Golf & Country Club and Joseph Weiscarger of Wyoming Valley Country Club, who each finished at 10-over par 154.
The Pennsylvania Golf Association would like to thank the staff and membership of Country Club of Scranton for the hospitality in hosting the event this week. Thanks also to LECOM for sponsorship of the championship.